ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill dies in his sleep at 72

Zz Top
FILE - Dusty Hill, of ZZ Top, performs before the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race in Concord, N.C., May 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn, File)

HOUSTON (AP) — ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill, one of the Texas blues trio’s bearded figures, died at his Houston home, the band announced Wednesday on Facebook. He was 72.

In their post, guitarist Billy Gibbons and drummer Frank Beard said Hill died in his sleep. They didn’t give a cause of death, but a July 21 post on the band’s website said Hill was “on a short detour back to Texas, to address a hip issue.”

At that time, the band said its longtime guitar tech, Elwood Francis, would fill in on bass, slide guitar and harmonica.

Born Joe Michael Hill in Dallas, he, Gibbons and Beard formed ZZ Top in Houston in the late 1970s.

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